Reports indicate that the bunkering vessel Stelios K was attacked and hijacked by pirates on November 17, 2020. At the time, the vessel was in the Gulf of Guinea 115 nautical miles south of Lome, Togo. At the time the vessel was en route to Lagos, Nigeria. The crew is reported safe at this time, while authorities attempt to negotiate their release. The number of personnel who have been kidnapped from vessels in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020 totals 115.
Vessels in the region have experienced numerous pirate attacks in the past few weeks, which safe marine operators must adequately prepare for, or the lives of their crew members are at risk of serious injury or death. On November 17, the tanker ship SKS DONGGANG may have been attacked and boarded by pirates. On November 16, the AM Delta was attacked, and numerous crew members were kidnapped. On November 13, pirates attacked the ZHEN HUA 7. On November 7, pirates attacked the Torm Alexandra in the Gulf of Guinea. In October, an unknown number of pirates boarded the LNG vessel METHANE PRINCESS. At the time, the vessel was berthed at Punta Europa LNG Terminal, Malabo, Bioko island, Equatorial Guinea.
It can be dangerous to work in any profession when safety considerations are not made. This is especially so when working on a vessel. Safe maritime companies must consider piracy precautions to ensure they do not put the lives of their crew members at risk. The risks of catastrophic injury or kidnapping due to a pirate attack is especially high in certain regions of the world that have historically had a problem ensuring the safety of vessels. When ship operators fail to account for the hazards posed by known pirate activity, catastrophic injuries can result.
Safe companies must help their crews avoid becoming victims of piracy. Before sailing in dangerous waters, safe maritime companies must perform the following:
Conducting a risk assessment related to piracy;
Create and educate crewmembers regarding ship self-protection measures; and
Implement policies and procedures on what to do if attacked by pirates.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime personal injury and wrongful death litigation and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another party. Spagnoletti Law Firm has lawyers admitted to practice in Texas, Florida and New York, and has handled maritime lawsuits throughout the country.
The experienced maritime attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of piracy. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to vessel accidents, so please contact us online or call 713-659-0257 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.